Flea and Tick Treatment Tips

If you live in a warm climate like I do then you will probably have the age old battle of dealing with fleas and ticks. There are a few *natural* options that will help you fight [and hopefully win] this battle.

FLEA PREVENTION

The first thing I will tell you is to stay away from topical solutions like Frontline, Advantix, etc. there are several reasons I advise this. Firstly, I have tried them and they don’t work NEARLY as well as you are led to believe by pet care professionals; the “medications” are oftentimes the cause of severe allergic reactions and have the potential to cause dryness, itchiness, rashes, and many other health issues with your dog. If however, you’ve used them and you really like them then by all means, spend upwards of $120 a year on prevention. But before you do, read the rest of this page.

What I do with my dogs is use this amazing powder called *Diatomaceous earth*. This stuff is wonderful! You can use this powder as a disinfectant for messes, as a cleaner and as a prevention to put on your dog after he/she has been bathed. If you do this it will work as a preventative and help keep bugs off of your precious pooch. NOTE: You cannot overdose on this stuff, it won’t hurt your dog. [As a side note, it also helps prevent roundworms if ingested]

WHAT IF I ALREADY HAVE FLEAS?!

Here is what I suggest.

First, go get yourself a bottle of dish soap. [I usually use Palmolive or Dawn] Put your pup in the tub, spread a generous amount of soap around the neck and rub in vigorously. Let your dog sit in the tub for 5-7 minutes with the ring of soap around his/her neck. DON’T RINSE OFF! In the same way, lather down the rest of your dog and again, let it sit for 5-7 minutes. [the fleas will automatically start migrating toward your dogs head and this is why you put the ring of soap around his/her neck] rinse your dog off really well and repeat if desired. Once you are done, put a heavy conditioner on your dog as this type of soap can really dry out their skin.

[I am not crazy about using such a harsh soap, but it isn’t well worth it to get rid of these nasty little bugs]

Sprinkle the earth on your dog.

NOTE: MAKE SURE YOU WASH ROVER’S BEDDING!!!

WHAT ABOUT THE HOUSE?!

Once you are done with this step, make sure you have vacuumed out your house thoroughly. I recommend putting some of the diatomaceous earth inside your vacuum bag to kill whatever bugs you happen to suck up. Fleas like to bed in carpets and upholstery and many times you won’t know they are there until there are hundreds of them!  You can spread the *Earth* anywhere you like in the house, just be mindful of the carpet. [if it is a severe case of fleas I recommend bombing the house]

WHAT ABOUT THE YARD?!

If your dog is an outside dog then go purchase yard poison from the store and spread generously in areas that your dog usually likes to go play in. [in severe cases] if you aren’t too concerned about a yard infestation then just spread the *Earth* around the outside of the house, yard, and anywhere the dog likes to sleep.

OTHER FLEA PREVENTION OPTIONS

I have used garlic as a way to control fleas. You have to be a little careful with the dosage though so if you aren’t comfortable with this here is something else you can do.

{The Vet Prescribed Way}

For the past year I  have tried using a different kind of bug spray in order to keep fleas and ticks off of my dogs. Living in a wooded area and having a heavy coated dog is a recipe to attract all kinds of critters. I’ve found great success with Vet’s Best Flea and Tick Spray. It’s relatively inexpensive and super easy to administer.

{The Natural Way}

Combine lemon juice and water in a spray bottle and spray your dog all over on a regular basis. Fleas and ticks don’t like the citrus. If you feed this to your dog it will also help prevent urinary tract infections. [common in smaller breeds]

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